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“Mahsa's city tour is not to be missed!”

Journeys Beyond the Surface - Oaxaca
Ranked #6 of 20 Food & Drink in Oaxaca
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Custom-designed private tours for one or more people, economical and flexible. After the success of our Mexico City tours, Mahsa has developed a particular range of tours specific to Oaxaca, focusing on everything from handicrafts to cooperative businesses, including village visits to meet healers, midwives, artisans and artists, trying street food, and walking tours that take you through neighborhoods, parks, markets and ancient alleys, to the side of Oaxaca beyond the sight of most tourists.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Mahsa's city tour is not to be missed!”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

My wife and I took a private tour with Mahsa of Oaxaca city. She carefully listened to our interests (namely art and food) and tailor made our tour based on those interests. Her knowledge of the area including both tourist and local spots. Out of all the tours we took on her trip, hers was second to none. Some of the best memories of our trip to Oaxaca state were made on Mahsa's tour. Going above and beyond, she reached out to us days after the tour for recommendations for the rest of our vacation. The trip would have not been the same if it weren't for our tour with Journeys Beyond the Surface. Don't see Oaxaca City without Mahsa!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Noah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    75
    4
    0
    0
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Salida, Colorado
2 reviews
“A wonderful experience!”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Mahsa provided a wonderful experience in San Bartolo Coyotepec. I went with a group of students as a part of a study abroad program, and Mahsa hosted us in SBC for several days. She organized visits to the museum, and to learn about the making of black pottery, served as an interpreter and best of us organized homestay families for us to stay with, get to know and learn from. Mahsa was very lovely, calm, and competent. I highly recommend going whether its for an afternoon or a week- San Bartolo Coyotepec is a very intersting place, and there cannot be a better guide than Mahsa to help you experience it.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Margaret F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
83 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
“Can do!”
Reviewed August 25, 2011

I gave Mahsa a tough assignment . . . “get me an appointment with Mr. X!” (a high-level person in my profession.) She came through on short notice and under tough circumstances: protestors were occupying his head office!

Then she made a brilliant suggestion.

An alternative environmental technology program operates in the Huayapam countryside, east of Oaxaca City. The project is successfully reclaiming acres of ecologically devastated land. The three program purposes are 1) reclaim the land, 2) showcase low-tech eco methods, and 3) produce plants. This little-known project (other tour companies had not heard of it) is entirely Mexican funded. Mahsa arranged a private tour showing solar energy use, low-tech water table management, latrine technology, and self-sustaining greenhouse production. Included in the tour fee was a contribution to the host: a not for profit organization.

I speak fluent Spanish, but my companion speaks less. Mahsa’s special skill is to turn visits into relationships. She makes translation a two way street---an interactive experience. Not only does she tell you what the Spanish speaker is saying, she also translates everything *you* say---the Spanish-speaker is invested in your conversation. You are not listening to a speech---you are conversing. This is hard to do for a translator who is also tour guide.

If you have a special interest that is not in regular “tours”, contact Journeys. We are glad we did!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank Cross-Culture-Maven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“You will fall in love with Oaxaca through Mahsa's superb guidance.”
Reviewed June 21, 2011

Through taking students to Mexico, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mahsa. She is magical in getting things done and shepherding groups around, providing critical information without drawing attention to herself. She knows how to take visitors into a deeper, more profound Mexico than glimpsed through the usual “tour.” She can arrange overnight (or longer) stays in villages without tourist hotels both near Oaxaca City and further away whether in the mountains or near the coast. Her translation skills are nearly simultaneous and she is skilled at handling any kind of difficulty in a calm, clear-headed way. Need I mention that she is also delightful, thoughtful, and kind.

Visited April 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank viva011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alameda, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Colorful, cultural, and crafty visit in Oaxaca”
Reviewed June 18, 2011

I recently took a 5 month trip to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia in 2010-2011. My time spent in Oaxaca region was well spent thanks to help from Mahsa Hojjati who provided me with travel advise and personally guided me to many of Oaxaca's great attractions - including, but certainly not limited to: Monte Alban, Teotitlan de Valle (weaving village), San Bartolo Coyotepec (black pottery), San Martin del Tilcajete (home of Alebrije masters and artisans), and throughout Oaxaca city itself. Mahsa's experiences in multiple cultures and her knowledge of life "beyond the surface" makes her a great guide and person to learn about Mexican culture from. The colorful region of Oaxaca has many street level attractions such as cooperative artisan shops where hand-woven rugs are made and sold, the famous alebrije workshops of San Martin, museums, Mayan ruins, and many hidden restaurants and bars that some people may not experience w/o some advice on where to go and what to see. I spent three weeks in Oaxaca in total and there was still more to see and do for sure. I definitely recommend Journeys Beyond the Surface for visits to Oaxaca and for Mexico City (I visited Cuernavaca, Taxco, Mexico City, and Coyotepec in 2001 and used Mahsa and her sister Mojdeh as guides then as well - with many thanks to them and their resourcefulness). Happy travels......devin

Visited October 2010
Helpful?
2 Thank devincito69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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